Three weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend my first NCTE in Las Vegas. My publisher, Chronicle Books, sent me to promote GIRL MEETS BOY. I was also part of a panel on reaching reluctant readers with Ellen Hopkins, Terry Trueman and Bruce Hale -- moderated by Cari Sandler.
Every aspect of the experience was sensational. I had dinner with Claire Rudolf Murphy and Meghan Nuttall Sayres the first night -- even tossed a few dollars in the slot machines. I ran into Teri Lesesne and Paul Hankin, walking the MGM Grand mall toward the conference center.
I attended Claire's panel on using picture books for older readers -- sensational. I also sat in on Charlie Price's panel on mystery novels for young adults. Charlie is not just a great mystery writer (who won the 2011 Edgar Award), he used to teach at the Lakeside Alternative School with Chris Crutcher, MANY years ago.
My own panel was so terrific, in large part because all of the authors on it with me were people I knew and respected enormously. Makes for a great panel. And any discussion on reaching reluctant readers is important to me. That's always my primary target audience. So grateful to Cari for putting the proposal together.
Finally, Chris Crutcher, Terry Trueman and I signed copies of GIRL MEETS BOY at the Chronicle booth. It was a little crazy. Chris had just signed ARC copies of his new book, PERIOD 8 at HarperCollins and he was bouncing from the Chronicle table to the exhibit hall isles like a ping pong ball. But I really appreciated the fact that he and Terry took the time to sign the anthology. I was grateful. Truly.
I left Las Vegas brain adled and sick -- a sinus infection and chest cold this time (not strep throat). But it was a wonderful opportunity, one I hope I get to experience another time in the not so distant future. Thank you, Chronicle Books, Claire Rudolf Murphy, Meghan Nuttall Sayres, Cari Sadler, Ellen Hopkins, Bruce Hale, Chris Crutcher and Terry Trueman. Thank you everyone else I saw, met, spoke with. My first NCTE was truly great.